Sperling: Hey, there’s no “magic number” for ObamaCare
posted at 12:41 pm on January 6, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
Just over two million Americans had enrolled in ObamaCare via the combined federal and state exchanges as of December 31st, according to the White House, but that’s still rather a far cry from the more than three million they originally hoped would be enrolled in insurance plans by that time. While it is true that signups accelerated as some of the various websites started to net marginal improvements toward the end of that open enrollment period and it’s possible that ObamaCare could still come close to the seven-million-by-March-31st original target that the administration is now desperately waving away. What they did not reveal, however, was the all-important demographic breakdown of those numbers, and that is the magical formula that determines whether ObamaCare will be able to keep its head above the water. As Secretary Sebelius has said, “it’s both about numbers and hopefully getting a balanced risk pool,” and disclosing whether their current pool is balanced is a factoid that they are conspicuously avoiding; indeed, after Chuck Todd remarked earlier in the show that the administration would like to be talking about NSA reforms, Janet Yellin’s confirmation, unemployment benefits, and ultimately “anything other than healthcare,” Sperling rejoined with the assurance that they’d just love to to talk about ObamaCare, but immediately reverted to the usual talking points about the program’s many miraculous benefits including keeping kids on their parents’ insurance, zero price discrimination for women, blah blah blah. I wouldn’t expect those demographic numbers anytime soon. Via RCP:
SPERLING: First of all, there’s no magic number. The key is to enroll as many people, have an exchange that’s working, have a stable —
GREGORY: The secretary of Health and Human Services said that was success, 7 million people by March.
SPERLING: I think success is having an ongoing, strong market, and I want to disagree with Chuck Todd. I am anxious to talk, and we are anxious to talk about what health care means. For all the criticism, how about some focus on 6 million Americans who now have coverage, 3 million young people who are on their parents’ coverage because of Obamacare. And, David, today is the first day, this is the first week ever where women cannot be discriminated against on their health care just because they’re women. It’s the first time 129 million Americans cannot be discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition.